The Global Board Leadership Initiative

The initiative is running from 2019 – 2021


Board Leadership Practices have developed substantially over the past few years. Corporate Boards have become more proactive and accountable and are significantly more involved with corporate strategy, CEO succession and risk oversight whilst constantly realigning the board’s priorities to developments in macro-economic and political uncertainties, cyber risks, digitisation and disruption, sustainability and responsible governance, and to the new trends in shareholder engagement and stewardship practices.

The Global Board Leadership Initiative aims at improving global board leadership practice with focus on value creation and sustainable growth – for the good of the individual firm, shareholders and society at large. The Initiative is based on a close collaboration between three globally leading environments for Corporate Governance and Board Leadership Practices: Singapore, Northern Europe, and North America. The Singaporean board environment is led by Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board and the Singapore Ministry of Manpower. The European board environment is led by the Board Leadership Society of Denmark – a non-profit organisation constituted by the Danish corporations and industrial organisations, government institutions, Copenhagen Business School, and leading professors and boardroom leaders. The North American contribution to the Initiative originates from Stanford Director’s College, which over the past 25 years has engaged CEOs, board directors, regulators, lawyers, and scholars in dialogue on the broad range of issues that confront modern boards.

Jointly hosted by the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) of Singapore and the Board Leadership Society of Denmark, the inaugural Summit was held in Singapore on the 9th and 10th of January 2019, at the Four Seasons Hotel.

An exclusive and by invitation only event, the Summit brought together more than 50 boardroom leaders from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America and South Africa to inspire and lead discussions across borders on new ideas and solutions to the opportunities, challenges and risks facing global corporations today.

The following are the knowledge and supporting partners of The Global Board Leadership Initiative

  • Copenhagen Business School
  • Centre for Governance, Institutions & Organisations, National University of Singapore
  • European Confederation of Directors’ Associations
  • Egon Zehnder
  • Ernst & Young
  • Kromann Reumert
  • Norwegian School of Economics
  • Singapore Exchange
  • Stanford Directors’ College
  • The Danish Industry Foundation

This edition of The Global Board Leadership Summit marks the commencement of the Global Board Leadership Initiative that is slated to run for three years on a rotating basis between Singapore, USA and Europe.

The Global Board Leadership Initiative is aimed at improving global board leadership practices with a focus on value creation and sustainable growth – for the good of the individual firm, shareholders and society at large.

Overview of The Inaugural Summit

The Inaugural summit was held in Singapore 9 – 10 January 2019.

Responsible Board Leadership: Doing Well and Doing Good

The agenda of the two-day Summit was structured based on the 6S value creation framework for boards:

  • Stewardship and Sustainability: responsible governance that takes a long-term approach in decision making; taking into consideration the broader interest of society as well as business imperatives
  • Strategy: working with management to shape and crystallise the long-term direction and strategic roadmap of the company
  • Succession: reviewing and aligning board and leadership team composition and competencies with the strategy of the company
  • Supervision and Support: monitoring performance, guiding and supporting management to ensure that the company is on course to achieve its strategic goals, agile in responding to global challenges, and has in place robust systems to manage risks and crises

The curriculum was built around 10 key challenges facing global boards today. Six of the challenges were addressed through case studies developed based on real life events faced by corporations. The case discussions were facilitated by teaching teams comprising academic and boardroom leaders. This was complemented by panel discussions moderated by academic leaders, with panellists drawn from participants of the Summit to optimise peer learning.

Future Global Board Leadership Summits

The Global Board Leadership Summit – Singapore, September 2022
Place: Singapore

The Global Board Leadership Summit – Copenhagen, Spring 2023
Place: Denmark

Previous Global Board Leadership Summits

GBLS Conference, 28 January 2021
Theme: The Global Outlook 2021 – Key challenges and opportunities for businesses: What is the new normal?
Place: Online

GBLS Conference, 25 August 2020
Theme: The Global Outlook – Challenges and the next normal in the wake of COVID-19
Place: Online

GBLS Conference, 25 Juni 2020
Theme: Ask the Board: Has the COVID-19 crisis set the direction for future supply chains – to be more local? Is this the beginning of deglobalization as a strategy?
Place: Online

The Global Board Leadership Summit – Copenhagen, 29 – 31 October 2019
Place: Denmark, Copenhagen Business School

The Global Board Leadership Summit – Singapore, 9 – 10 January 2019
Place: Singapore, Four Seasons Hotel

The Project is supported by The Danish Industry Foundation

The Danish Industry Foundation (Industriens Fond) develops and supports innovative, inspirational and economically sustainable projects and initiatives that strengthen the competitiveness of the Danish industry. Competitiveness is defined in general terms, though the Foundation prioritises projects with the greatest value increment to companies for the benefit of Denmark as a whole. The Foundation supports projects that generate application-oriented knowledge, new competences and innovation, benefiting the industry. Through inspiration and project development, the Foundation’s means must help bridge cooperation between science and business. As well as supporting application-based projects, the Foundation also develops its own strategic initiatives within areas that can contribute to an overall strengthening of the industry and business communities.

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